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I finished the 2011 fantasy baseball rankings for most hitters.  I’ll go back to the Utility guys at some point, but I wanted to move on to the top 20 starters for 2011 fantasy baseball while we were both relatively young.  And, yes, relatively is relative.  See what I did there?!  Yeah, I’m not sure myself.  You’re not going to find me drafting many of the top 20 starters unless they drop to the point where I feel they’re a bargain.  Say two to three rounds past their average draft position.  There’s just too many starters you can grab in the 8th to 12th rounds that are pretty safe to mess with the top, top guys.  I do like to grab at least one starter from the 3rd tier listed here, but we’ll get to that.  As with the hitters, the projections are mine and I’ll list where I see tiers starting and stopping.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 starters for 2011 fantasy baseball:

1. Roy Halladay – This is the first tier.  This tier goes from here until Lee.  I call this tier, “The best, Jerry.  The best!”  As I put Miggy first in the top 10 for 2011 fantasy baseball, I kinda wanted to put F-Her number one here, but, as long as Halladay is in the NL facing pitchers, I can’t be that contrarian.  I am worried about the insane amount of innings he put on his arm last year, but that’s probably just me being paranoid.  Who said that?!  2011 Projections:  19-7/2.75/1.06/205

2. Felix Hernandez – I love F-Her.  If I didn’t think it would have my diploma from the College of Fantasy Baseball at Charleston revoked, I’d project F-Her for a 2.25 ERA and tell you to draft him in the first round.  There was plenty of discussion about his historically insane low support last year.  I won’t rehash it, other than saying that I won’t rehash it, which kinda does rehash it.  He could easily win 20+ games this year.  Run support is fickle.  Double negatives be damned, don’t not draft F-Her because you’re worried about wins.  Don’t not draft him because you need a 3rd baseman and you don’t want to start Mark Teahen at 3rd base while your team languishes in last place.  2011 Projections:  16-12/2.80/1.10/220

3. Adam WainwrightUPDATE:  I went over Wainwright’s injury.  Don’t draft him. The problem I have with Wainwright is… Nothing!  El oh el!!!  Some dopey people should be outlawed from ever writing that acronym.  Seriously, there’s no way they are actually laughing out loud as much as they write it.  If they were, they’d be in a mental asylum.  Wanna go into an el oh el wasteland?  Check out your high school friends on Facebook.  Especially the girls that used to be attractive.  I guarantee they are laughing out loud right now.  What are you laughing at?!  That your baby said poo-poo?!  Okay, changing the subject back to Wainwright before I have an aneurysm.  Wainwright’s fastball actually gained speed last year, K-rate went up a notch and he’s right in the middle of his prime.  No reason why he can’t repeat everything from last year except wins, which he can repeat just don’t count on it.  2011 Projections:  Nothing

4. Cliff Lee – I already went over my Cliff Lee fantasy when he signed with the Phils.  2011 Projections:  16-6/2.95/1.05/190

5. Tim Lincecum – This is a new tier.  This tier is just Lincecum and Sabathia.  I call this tier, “Top starters that I’m wary of.”  Lincecum’s resemblance to kd lang shouldn’t factor into your decision on whether or not to draft him, his falling K-rate should.  Last year the percentage of pitches a batter hit outside the strike zone was 56% compared to 48.8% the year before.  He also lost a mile on his fastball, threw his slider a lot more and his curveball a lot less.  All these things separate?  Whatever.  Together?  Something stinks and it’s not his bong.  If all of these things revert, it’s all good.  If this is a start of a trend, we might be seeing a different pitcher in Lincecum than what we’re accustomed to seeing.  Before you scoff, you scoffer, think about how terrific Johan was not that long ago.  You drafting him this year?  2011 Projections:  15-10/3.20/1.18/225

6. CC Sabathia – For three years, CC’s walk rate has gone up.  For three years, his K-rate has gone down.  For three years, his WHIP has gone up.  For three years, his wins have gone up which has helped mask the disturbing trends orbiting him.  He will be 31 years old in July and I really think he should be fine for another year, but, for where you have to draft him, it’s not worth the warning signs he’s coming bundled with.  2011 Projections:  18-10/3.40/1.20/190

7. Jon Lester – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until Gallardo.  I call this tier, “I’m going to have one of these guys on my team.”  Usually around the 5th through the 8th rounds of a draft, I grab one SP.  It’s nice to have one guy that you can send out there with confidence when you’re upside Morrow, Marcum etc. etc. etc. picks crap the bed during any given start.  This tier could also be called, “These guys could all win the Cy Young but they come at a better price in the draft than the names above.”  It’s no surprise the first guy in the tier of starters I like is a guy with a K-rate that is over 9.  I love strikeout pitchers, as everyone and their cousin’s monkey knows.  Cousin’s monkey, “I read Matthew Berry.”  Simply, if a guy can strikeout out a hitter with runners in scoring position, he has a better chance of getting out of an inning than a guy who needs someone to hit the ball to a fielder.  Lester should get all the run support he needs, should keep his ERA in the low 3′s and strikeout 200+ hitters.  Yes, please and thank you.  2011 Projections:  17-9/3.30/1.18/220

8. Clayton Kershaw – I see Verlander, Weaver and Josh Johnson on a lot of perts’ rankings for this spot.  I don’t dislike those guys, but a K-rate over 9 on an ace in the NL West, pitching his home games in a pitchers’ park is too good for me to pass up.  Oh, and he cut his walk rate from 2009 to 2010 by more than a full walk per nine.  If he takes one step forward and gets run support, he’s winning the Cy Young.  2011 Projections:  14-8/3.00/1.15/220

9. Francisco Liriano – You could kinda guess my favorite guys by just going through the top K-rates for last year.  It’s not thrilling to me that we have a few AL pitchers in here.  I do prefer NL pitchers when push comes to shove.  But a pitchers’ park like Hubert H. Homerfree Retrodome helps and a guy with an xFIP of 3.06 last year doesn’t hurt.  2011 Projections:  15-7/3.15/1.18/220

10. Yovani Gallardo – I don’t think anything is as shortsighted in fantasy baseball as when people look at last year, underrate a guy and don’t think about what they can do in the upcoming season.  We are drafting for 2011 now not 2010, right?  Gallardo cut his walk rate by almost one per nine, K’d almost 10 per 9 and had an xFIP below 3.50.  If you’re doing a throwback to 2010 league, don’t draft YoGa this high, his ERA was 3.84.  If you’re doing like me and drafting for 2011, get him.  2011 Projections:  16-9/3.30/1.24/220

11. Jered Weaver – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until Ubaldo.  I call this tier, “I would draft one of these guys, but I think others will take them first.”  I think we just saw a career year from Weaver.  I don’t think he approaches quite that K-rate, walk rate and ERA again this year, which made me almost want to put him in the next tier of pitchers that I don’t want, but even if he only loses one strikeout per nine and gains back some of his walks, I still think he’s going to be a top starter.  I do think he probably will be drafted before I get him because of my ranking.  2011 Projections:  15-10/3.40/1.15/195

12. Josh Johnson – Here’s another guy that will probably end up on someone else’s team in 2011.  It’s not that I don’t like porn star Gosh Johnson’s brother as much as the next guy, but, well, I don’t.  All his injuries annoy me for where you have to draft him.  2011 Projections:  10-7/3.15/1.10/160 in 150 IP

13. Justin Verlander – Yet another guy I don’t terribly dislike, but he’s really more of a 3.50 ERA pitcher with a great K-rate who is drafted like he’s a sub-3 ERA pitcher with an incredible K-rate.  Also, his Aprils and first innings drive me batty.  If he started his season in May and had Valverde pitch the first, Verlander would be a top 5 starter.  2011 Projections:  15-10/3.50/1.18/210

14. Ubaldo Jimenez – Ubaldo’s more than a hair off the pitcher he was last year.  (Pun point!)  His 1st half last year was one for the storybooks, if you’re reading bedtime stories to Bill James’ kids.  His 2nd half ERA of 3.80 wasn’t necessarily bad, but it wasn’t his 2.20 ERA from the 1st half.  Unfortunately, he’s closer to the pitcher we saw in the 2nd half.  I’m not saying he’ll be quite that bad, just closer to it.  2011 Projections:  15-9/3.50/1.20/195

15. Cole Hamels – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until Greinke.  I call this tier, “If I failed to get a pitcher in the Lester tier, I absolutely need one from this tier.” If you grabbed a pitcher from the Lester tier, feel free to skip this tier.  If you draft two pitchers from these tiers, there’s a chance you’re hurting your hitting.  That’s, of course, assuming one of these guys doesn’t fall far enough in the draft where it makes sense to double dip.   As for Hamels, I’ve liked him for four (stutterer!) straight years now.  As long as he avoids bad luck, he’ll be a solid 3 and a half ERA pitcher with Ks.  2011 Projections:  14-10/3.40/1.18/190

16. Roy Oswalt – What’s this?  The entire Phillies pitching staff in the top 20?  Yeah, pretty much.  If you’re thinking about avoiding one of them because you’re concerned that all of them can’t win 20 games, you’re being silly.  They can all win 15 games.  You’ll take that and like it.  2011 Projections:  15-8/3.35/1.16/175

17. Zack Greinke – I already went over my Greinke fantasy when he was traded to the Brewers.  Nothing’s changed since then, except for that hair growing out of your mole.  2011 Projections:  15-9/3.50/1.18/200

18. David Price – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until the end of this post.  I call this tier, “You guys had fun last year, I’d let someone else enjoy them this year.”  Each one of these pitchers has positives.  Price’s K-rate went up last year, Latos pitches in Petco and Buchholz should get run support, but their negatives have me turning away.  As with the Weaver tier, these guys probably won’t fall far enough for me to draft one.  As for Price, he was lucky last year; his xFIP was 3.99.  Also, he derived a lot of value from wins last year and, as previously mentioned three gazillion times, don’t count on wins.  2011 Projections:  14-10/3.60/1.22/185

19. Mat Latos – I’ll lay this out for you nice and simple like Minnie Pearl would’ve wanted it, Latos threw too many innings last year.  2011 Projections:  9-7/3.50/1.10/160

20. Clay Buchholz – His K-rate is terrible, he pitches in a tough park in a tough division and his number one category is wins, which are fickle.  Or fichhkle.  2011 Projections:  12-9/3.75/1.25/140

  1. Mike from Jersey says:
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    Why rank Latos and Bucholz 19 & 20 if you project those numbers? Fwiw I do see regression in both, but I think Buccholz is more sustainable. If you watch him pitch, you can see how good he is (lucky last year yes, but he’s skilled enough for a 3.50 era)
    Also, how would you project Josh Johnson over 30 games?

  2. Mike from Jersey says:
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    Also, how much of a injury risk is wainwright? doesnt throw that many fastballs (around 50%, much lower than the average) Throwing all those curveballs and sliders figures to catch up to him eventually, no?

  3. Dracula says:
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    I call this blog “The best, Jerry. The best!”

  4. Steve says:
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    Pppffft. I was hoping for the Top 20 Util guys.

    I keed.

    Grey – someone may have asked this already (and you’ve hinted at it in this post) but will you be doing a pitcher pairings post again this year?

    Just as well George VI never had to say that.

  5. DrEasy says:
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    Well, I’m sorry to say, but I el oh el’d quite a few times reading this, for real! And I’m not that girl from high-school who used to be attractive, since I’m not a girl and I never was attractive in the first place. But maybe the two negatives make me her? I don’t know anymore.

  6. Great post Grey!

    Keeper league. I am loaded with hitters. Should I offer CarGo for F-Her? Will I get laughed at?

  7. Mets fan says:
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    Grey is there one guy on this list that your targeting in every draft?

  8. napoleongs says:
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    Grey
    Now that the top 20 SP is out of the box…
    14 team 5×5 keeper league (one C, 3OF, 2Utility)
    I have Miguel Cabrera, Fielder, Nelson Cruz, Posey, Cliff Lee, and Lester

    Keep four only….Miggy, Fielder, and which two others??

    Dont like the idea of two SP as keepers….Posey in a shallow position vs Cruz in a slightly deeper position. I figure Lester as #6. Your thoughts please and OLE !!

  9. Malacoda says:
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    Jered Weaver was second only to F. Hernandez in quality starts. Put that in your rehash pipe and smoke it.

  10. Eddy says:
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    @Mets fan:

    Most definitely someone from the Lester tier. In an ideal world i’m sure it’d be Lester, but he seems to be going in the 5th constantly. Liriano and Kershaw are SP that you have a better chance of making your number 1.

  11. Al Swedgin says:
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    Grey, are the Latos projections (like the JJohnson projections) based on 150 IP? Thanks.

  12. PepeSilvia says:
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    You’ve singlehandedly gotten me super-psyched for fantasy hardball to start up, even if the season’s…*checks calender*…oh god, over two months away.

    Keeper question — would you rather sacrifice a 10th round pick for Ubaldo or a 15th rounder for Jose Tabata? One caveat is that if I decide to keep Tabata that means I won’t be keeping ANY pitchers (Ubaldo’s the only one I’m even considering for my last keeper slot).

  13. AJK says:
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    I would have expected to see tommy hanson on this list based on the pedigree, league and the way he finished last season. Where do you see him ranked?

  14. Eddy says:
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    @PepeSilvia:

    Go with Ubaldo. Tabata is going around that same round for 2011–sometimes even lower. You won’t get Ubaldo at that round again.

  15. 101 MPH says:
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    Sabremetrics aside, I’m having trouble predicting Zack Greinke’s 2011. On one hand, he’ll be pitching in a park that’s at least not unfriendly to pitchers, on a team that has the potential to provide him with good run support. On the other hand, he might be facing the pressure of a high profile pennant race, as opposed to playing for the Kansas City Royals (which is MLB’s equivalent to being placed in the federal witness protection program).

    Will Greinke rise to the occasion and perform well for a contending team, or will he succumb to the pressure and go coo-coo for Coco Puffs?

    Grey, I’d appreciate your opinion on a keeper issue. My intention for my 14 team, mixed, $260 auction league is to keep the following pitchers for the following prices:

    1) Jeff Weaver $12
    2) Wandy Rodriguez $10
    3) Ted Lilly $9

    With those starters in the bag, what would you recommend (in terms of selecting from tiers) to complete a fantasy starting rotation in a league that allows 1600 innings pitched?

    Thanks in advance!

  16. Giant JJ says:
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    Help! I want to join the mock draft but when I sign in it says I’m not registered. When I register it says my user name or password already exists.

  17. sean says:
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    @Mike from Jersey: Probably something close to Ubaldo’s projections. 12-15 W and 190-200K in 200 IP.

  18. GopherDay says:
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    @101 MPH: I asume you mean Jered Weaver for $12….Jeff Weaver sucks.

  19. GopherDay says:
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    @Giant JJ: Keep trying. MDC has been super glitchy for me…I mean SUPER glitchy. Just keep trying til it works…It should eventually, that’s what I did.

  20. Eddy says:
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    @Giant JJ:

    That’s strange. Try signing up from another computer. Hurry, there’s only one spot left!

    ****for those already in the draft, please check your schedules and make sure you can make it tonight. We want to try to have a full draft this time!****

  21. greenmountaincoffee says:
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    Need help! Keeper Legue H2H (12teams). Gotta keep 2 of these and give up the draft pick. I’d have the 9th pick in Rd1.

    Cabrera (Rd1)
    A.Gonzalez (Rd4)
    J. Upton (Rd6)

    Crazy to keep Cabrera/Gonzo??
    Thanks in advance!

  22. napoleongs says:
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    help….cannot register. I am a moron. How do I finish the sentence???

    Anti-bot is anti-human also !!

  23. 101 MPH says:
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    Gopher: Oops!! Jered Weaver indeed! Jeff Weaver has some value in a razzball league, but that’s about it.

  24. Giant JJ says:
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    I can’t sign in here at Razzball either so it’s not a MDC problem. I need to talk to a board admin but not sure how.

  25. Tom says:
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    Grey – Your prob. not going to tell us but what team are you a fan of?

  26. Eddy says:
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    @Tom:

    There have been fables that he’s a Dodger fan.

  27. Giant JJ says:
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    Solved. I needed to enter the private password, not my own password. Nothing to see here…

  28. Tony says:
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    wow just checked the espn mock, EL OH EL….. votto at #14 overall and Howard went in the 4th round? Those guys fantasy baseball degrees should be burnt, they must have gotten there’s online

  29. napoleongs says:
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    well, lets try this….

    14 team 5×5 (one C, only 3 OF, but 2 Util)

    have Miguel Cabrera, Fielder, Cliff Lee, Nelson Cruz, Posey, and Lester

    Keep only four….Miggy, Prince and Lee….then Posey or Cruz??

    Posey due to position scarcity ? Cruz a risk with the bad hammy(s).

    Thoughts ??

  30. GopherDay says:
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    @Tony: Hey, I mean if no one wants Howard, I’ll be very happy to take him 4th round.

  31. GopherDay says:
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    @Giant JJ: El Oh El. :P

  32. Mr.MojoRisin says:
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    Ugh, Tommy Hanson not being in here is killing my Hanson is better than Josh Johnson and Price in 2011 theory. (Otherwise known as should I keep Hanson over Price or JJ?)

  33. @101 MPH:

    grey’s probably going to roll his eyes at me again, but i’m kind of a believer in the “greinke was bored in KC” theory. if you read enough posnanski you’ll catch it too.

    lots of people talk about greinke like he’s some sort of wilting flower with mental problems. but his teammates in KC all keep saying that, yes, he’s kind of a weird guy, but he’s also the most competitive dude they’ve ever met. you don’t win a cy young award in the major leagues without having -some- sort of tough-bastard gene.

    it’s been noted that his numbers tend to be the best at the beginning of the season, when it’s a clean slate and there’s still some hope in KC even if it’s delusional hope, and at the end, when it’s almost over. he’d more drift along during the murky middle months.

    also, just look at how bad he wanted out of KC. i think it’s likely he gets his focus back and thrives playing games that matter. not saying 09 numbers, but, that pitcher. also think he would have blown up on the yankees (blown up in the good way), and am therefore glad they passed on him.

    i actually have him ranked in my very top group of 5 pitchers, but that’s kind of a personal quirk that i’m not suggesting anybody else should pay any attention to. i believe in my own theories so you don’t have to.

  34. Oregon Nut Cups

    Oregon Nut Cups says:
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    Your realization of that true stats on Liriano is why I read you
    Your worries about Josh Johnson are why I feel akin to you
    Your Facebook comments about former HS hotties is why I love you
    Your cancellation of my account after being creeped out by all this is why I respect you.

  35. Tony says:
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    @wily mo: you’re a believer aren’t you wily mo! bautista CHECK, greinke CHECK….. who’s next?

  36. Tony says:
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    @GopherDay: No joke 1 of maybe 10 guys in all of the bigs that can hit 40-45+ HR’s in the 4th round? ESPN is garbage.

  37. camram003 says:
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    love reading the site. what leagues do most everyone play in? I have played fantasy for years in private yahoo leagues and am bored with it. where do you find leagues that are more competitive and have a good payout?

  38. Malacoda says:
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    I posted about the ESPN mock draft in the forums here yesterday, it is such a joke. AJ Mass punted HR, RBI, and AVG. Good grief.

  39. @Tom: @Eddy: i have it in my head that grey’s a yankee fan, but i forget why.

    @Tony: hey, we all believe in somebody.

  40. Eddy says:
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    @camram003:

    Well for competition, the Razzball Commenter Leagues (RCL) that we do yearly here are some of the most competitive leagues you’ll join. When everyone you play with is getting intel from the same source, good luck being one-step ahead of the curve. Though they’re not money leagues, Tony (the commenter who’ll always have some word in caps–I love you Tony) ran a $50 buy-in RCL last season and from what I’ve heard it went pretty smooth.

  41. Eddy says:
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    @wily mo:

    Yea, that would be my second guess.

  42. Mr2Bits says:
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    Grey Need your help on some early keepers.

    Need two from round 1-5. If not used, you can grab two extra beyond here.

    Roy Halladay (Phi – SP) -1st Round
    Robinson Canó (NYY – 2B)- 2nd Round
    Jon Lester (Bos – SP)- 3rd Round

    Need two from round 6-10 or more if unused above.

    Billy Butler (KC – 1B)- Round 6
    Víctor Martínez (Bos – C,1B) – Round 7
    Josh Hamilton(Tex – OF) – Round 9
    Joakim Soria (KC – RP) – Round 10

    Four from round 11- 24/FA or more if unused above

    Brad Lidge (Phi – RP)- Round 14
    Hiroki Kuroda (LAD – SP) – Round 16
    Juan Pierre (CWS – OF) – Round 16
    Jorge De La Rosa (Col – SP) – Round 17
    Justin Masterson (Cle – SP,RP) – Round 19
    Alexei Ramírez (CWS – SS) – Round 20
    Travis Snider (Tor – OF) – Round 20
    Chris Young (Ari – OF) – Free Agent
    Corey Hart (Mil – OF) - Free Agent
    José Bautista (Tor – 3B,OF) – Free Agent
    Neftali Feliz (Tex – RP) – Free Agent
    Juan Gutiérrez (Ari – RP) – Free Agent
    Clay Hensley (Fla – RP) – Free Agent
    Chris Capuano (Mil – SP,RP) – Free Agent
    Jaime García (StL – SP,RP)- Free Agent
    R.A. Dickey (NYM – SP,RP) – Free Agent
    Omar Infante (Atl – 2B,3B,SS,OF) – Free Agent

    As always, thanks for your help.

  43. 101 MPH says:
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    @wily mo: I can see where you’d have to have a pretty high battle level to make it to the majors, and especially to win a Cy Young award. That said, I have to balance that with a case study like Javier Vazquez, who has a proven track record of success but shizznits the bed whenever he puts on a Yankees uniform. Not that playing for the Brewers is a fair comparison to playing for the Yankees, but a pennant race is a pennant race….

    I don’t know enough about Greinke’s infirmities to be able to say whether prolonged, pressure filled situations would cause him to break down, but at this point I’d at least have to consider it before deciding where to draft Greinke.

  44. Mr2Bits says:
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    @Mr2Bits:

    Forgot to add, most can keep is a total of 8.

    Thanks

  45. Eddy says:
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    @Grey

    Assuming he reaches your projections, do you think Pedro Alvarez’ round value will inflate in 2012? If so, to what round?

  46. Cain Fan says:
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    @napoleongs:

    Catcher isn’t as shallow as it usually is this year (unless you play in a 2 C league). There is about 10ish usable options – Mauer, McCann, VMart, Posey, Santana, Napoli, Soto, Posada, Wieters, Montero etc.

    I am in a similar situation determining if I should keep McCann and the depth of the position makes me wonder if I should release and see who falls to me at a cheaper price.

    Thoughts?

  47. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Mike from Jersey: How are you in Jersey but a Red Sox fan? Knock Johnson up to 3.40 and 180 Ks.

    @Mike from Jersey: I don’t think he’s anymore an injury risk than any other pitcher. Halladay threw 250 + playoff innings last year. That’s not good either.

    @Dracula: Thanks!

    @Steve: Ha… Yeah, I will.

    @DrEasy: You’re hot.

    @Mr. Punch: Have to go CarGo. Though I don’t know how loaded you are.

    @Mets fan: Read the Lester blurb.

    @napoleongs: Lee, Posey…

    @Malacoda: Ha

    @Al Swedgin: 175

    @PepeSilvia: Thanks for the kind words! Ubaldo

    @AJK: Come back tomorrow.

    @101 MPH: You have a one, a two and a safe three. Grab three upside SPs.

    @greenmountaincoffee: Miggy, Upton…

    @napoleongs: …dedicated to fantasy… baseball.

    @Tom: Grew up a Yankees fan. Like players more than teams.

    @Mr.MojoRisin: Keep Hanson.

    @Tony: Crazy…

    @Oregon Nut Cups: Thanks!

    @Malacoda: He’s such a joke.

    @Mr2Bits: Halladay, Cano… Hamilton, V-Mart… Krispie, Bautista, Hart, dlR…

    @Eddy: 4th round…

  48. @101 MPH: sure, but vazquez has a track record of doing that. he got his reputation based on his actual performance in new york. the first time he was going there people weren’t like, “can vazquez HANDLE new york?” – at least not any more than they do with everybody. they were more like, “this EXCITING YOUNG ARM is COMING TO NEW YORK!” and then he got there and people were like, “hey, what’s wrong with this guy.” on the other hand, greinke’s got a track record of pitching for the royals and that’s it. so people are assuming he’ll have trouble with pressure situations based on… assumption, rather than any kind of actual evidence. maybe he loves pressure! you don’t know. the only information we have is people who know him, who say that… he loves pressure.

    when they were bringing him back from the hiatus the royals sent him to the minors to pitch for wichita in their AA playoff run. he kicked ass and didn’t want to leave to go back to KC.

  49. Eddy says:
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    @Mr2Bits:

    I’d venture out and say:

    Robinson Cano
    Victor Martinez
    Josh Hamilton
    Jose Bautista
    Chris Young
    Neftali Feliz
    Corey Hart
    Travis Snider

    That’s if you have to keep 8.

  50. Tony says:
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    @Eddy: HAHA! sometimes a few rum and cokes brings on the CAPS LOCK!

    I will be runing my $50 buy in league again. I’ll give first dibs to the guys i had in there last year then i’ll open it up. I just can’t play for no money hahah…

  51. RandomItalicizedVoice says:
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    Hey everybody,

    Looks like I gotta pull out of tonight’s mock draft, so if someone wants in, have at it.

    Maybe eddy can repost the link and password.

  52. Steve McQueen Latifah says:
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    I may be late to the party with this one, but I was just reading the ESPN expert’s mock draft and it’s pretty laughable, especially the 3rd round:

    1 21 Karabell Matt Kemp, OF, LAD
    2 22 Grey Mark Teixeira, 1B, NYY
    3 23 Quinscomb Nelson Cruz, OF, Tex
    4 24 Berry Shin-Soo Choo, OF, Cle
    5 25 Cwalinski Kevin Youkilis, 1B, Bos
    6 26 Hunter Dustin Pedroia, 2B, Bos
    7 27 Mass Jose Bautista, OF/3B, Tor
    8 28 Harris Joe Mauer, C, Min
    9 29 Ravitz Prince Fielder, 1B, Mil
    10 30 Roberts Andrew McCutchen, OF, Pit

    Not too much to say when Prince and Cutch are behind Cruz, Choo, Youk, Pedroia and Bautista? Amazing.

  53. Smokey

    Smokey says:
    (link)

    @RandomItalicizedVoice: @Eddy: I fell on the sword and took the spot butr if someone else wants it let me know.

  54. Eddy says:
    (link)

    @Smokey:

    As long as you can make it tonight, then by all means stay!

  55. Jefe says:
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    If I’m going into the auction with a decent set of SP keepers like so:

    B Anderson
    W Rodriguez
    C Lewis
    M Scherzer
    J Garcia
    A Sanchez
    G Gonzalez

    (We start 5 SPs. 16-team mixed.)

    Should I focus on just hitting, or do I need one of these 20 to shore the staff up?

  56. Jay says:
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    @Grey: Re: Wainwright: he supposedly has a partial ligament tear in his elbow, but nobody seems to be making a big deal of it. It makes me want to drop him down behind Lee and Lincecum. Doesn’t that smell like future Tommy John surgery to you?

    With his bad K-rate and AL East opposition, why not drop Buchholz a few more spots? I’m definitely ranking guys like Hanson, Haren, Carpenter, and Cain before him.

  57. John says:
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    Listen, I really enjoy your articles and trust your judgement, but sometimes your reasonings matched with your ranking confuse the HECK out of me. For example, you rank Latos at 19 but essentially say NOTHING good about him. Why is he ranked at 19 when I am sure you will be super high and have a positive write up on someone in the next group of rankings? Let me follow that up by asking, if you had the chance to keep Latos as your #2 (behind Johnson, another one of your faves) in a H2H points league would you? (It would mean letting go of Heyward – scared of sophmore slump. Other keeps are Votto, Pedroia and J. Johnson)

  58. Eddy says:
    (link)

    @John:

    Think about it like this: Grey still ranks players based on their stats. Latos, for the most part, will probably have better stats than some of the pitchers that come after him. So there’s only so much he can drop him. And he’s a hodgepadre.

    The blurbs of each player, on the other hand, are what he personally thinks about them. So with Latos, the fear of being overworked (i.e Cole Hamels’ 2009 season because he was overworked in 2008) is enough to make him skip over him.

    Am I making sense here?

  59. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Jefe: You have no choice but to go after hitters.

    @Jay: Did he have this problem last year when he was a top SP? Doesn’t really matter anyway because I’m not drafting him. I’m not drafting Buchholz either.

    @John: I’ve explained this lots of times. I’m not going to rank 60 SPs then have a whole post of ignored guys. I break it up with tiers I don’t want. It’s pretty clear what pitchers I’m not drafting. I wouldn’t drop Heyward for Latos.

  60. thepizzaman says:
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    Grey– what are your thoughts on Pelfrey this year?

  61. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @thepizzaman: I go over him in the next day or so.

  62. Jefe says:
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    re: @Jefe: You have no choice but to go after hitters.

    Well, yeah, I have to put someone out there to score some runs. ;] I have a few hitter keepers too. Question is, should I be comfortable with that staff or does it need an ace?

  63. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Jefe: You’re giving me half info. Do you have Utley, Miggy and Pujols as your keepers? Or do you have Ludwick and Will Venable? Your staff is fine, it obviously has no ace.

  64. RemDog Whisperer says:
    (link)

    first mock of the season…what do you think?

    C J Montero 25
    1b R Howard 1
    2b G Beckham 15
    3b P Alvarez 7
    SS I Desmond 14
    OF A Ethier 3
    OF McCutchen 4
    OF J Bruce 8
    OF A Jones 12
    OF J Tabata 23
    CI Tex 2
    MI A Escobar 20
    DH I Davis 17
    SP C Hamels 5
    SP D Price 6
    RP F Cordero 16
    RP F Rodney
    P J Danks 9
    P M Garza 10
    P D Hudson 11
    P M Bumgardner 13
    P D Aardsma 19
    B K Gregg 21
    B A Jackson 22
    B F Frank 24

    I know Montero is gonna start in AAA…that’s fine with me. I will just run with the flav until then.

  65. Jake in Columbus says:
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    And here I thought those disturbing trends orbiting CC were his cupcake moons.

    Acronysm = when Grey bursts a vein from reading LOL too many times
    Acrogasm = when “those people” do it from typing LOL too many times

  66. Rabbit says:
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    Are any of the Razzball Commenter Leagues going to be weekly rosters instead of daily? I’d love to play in a RCL League but between work and family schedules there’s no way I can put in the time required to compete in a competitive daily league.

  67. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @RemDog Whisperer: Ethier is a reach in the third, but since your hitting is fine, it’s not a big issue. Don’t like Price, Danks or Garza much. Your pitching will probably have issues.

    @Jake in Columbus: Ha!

  68. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Rabbit: They’re daily.

  69. Mike from Jersey says:
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    @Grey:

    Im 24. I grew up a Yankees fan in jersey b.c everyone in my family put it on me. I was always a HUGE manny ramirez fan tho. so when he signed with the sox my friends got on me to pick one. so i chose the sox. and now that im not 3 and i have an understanding about baseball, i love the Red Sox regardless, forever. I do get alot of shit from friends and its very annoying, but watevs

  70. RemDog Whisperer says:
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    @Grey: I agree, I’m not that big on Ethier ethier, but OF went really quick with 5 OF’s, he won’t be on any of my teams this year, I like Garza for 16-9/ 3.70/ 1.20/ 180,

  71. RemDog Whisperer says:
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    @RemDog Whisperer: I also like run-on sentences also

  72. James says:
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    Dynasty trade question for you. I am hurting at 3B and doing well in pitching (Lince, Kershaw, Jimenez, Wandy, Bills, Chacin, Ervin Santa) I have been offered Ryan Zimmerman for Lincecum. I’m leaning towards taking it since I have deep pitching. If I don’t trade I might be able to draft Young or Figgins. Ugh.

    Thoughts? Thanks!

  73. John says:
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    @Grey: Grey, maybe I’m late on the boat here, but help me understand how someone isn’t capable enough to be on your team but someone you find superior ranked below? If I disliked, say Latos, I would rank him lower than a guy I like. Not trying to be argumentative just curious how your brain works on this.

  74. John says:
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    @ Grey: (RE: @John: I’ve explained this lots of times. I’m not going to rank 60 SPs then have a whole post of ignored guys. I break it up with tiers I don’t want. It’s pretty clear what pitchers I’m not drafting. I wouldn’t drop Heyward for Latos…) Grey, maybe I’m late on the boat here, but help me understand how someone isn’t capable enough to be on your team but someone you find superior ranked below? If I disliked, say Latos, I would rank him lower than a guy I like. Not trying to be argumentative just curious how your brain works on this.

  75. Mr2Bits says:
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    @Grey:

    Grey : Curious as to why you’d keep VMart in round 7 or DLR at round 17 over N. Feliz as a 24?

    Closers always seem to start flying in my league around round 5. Is Feliz not closing next year?

  76. bill says:
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    I agree with John. It’s pretty confusing how you rank players. Maybe that’s why you have to explain it so many times. If you don’t like the guy you have ranked 20 and like the guy you have ranked 21, why not just switch their rankings? If it’s your pick and both 20 and 21 are on the board, which are you going with? It seems like you’re trying to do some rankings/ADP hybrid.

  77. Dingo says:
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    @Grey: OT – Sorry if this has been brought up elsewhere, but is there a reason why the links that show up when you click “Reply” have changed? Before they just had the “#comment-394020″ part at the end of the post’s URL, but now they have “/comment-page-2/” inserted in there as well. For my browser, at least, it now takes longer to skip from one comment to another.

  78. Grey

    Grey says:
    (link)

    @John: @bill: I think it’s clear when I say a group of guys are in a tier “I’m going to have one of these guys on my team.” Or another tier is “Let someone else draft them.” I think you’re too wrapped up in someone being ranked 20th or 21st. Draft a guy in the Lester tier. If you don’t get one, draft a guy in the Hamels tier. Act like the rest of the names on here don’t exist. Which is said in the post. What you’re suggesting is I make a top 20 post a top two because at the most I’ll only have two of these of SPs. I’ll draft someone in the Lester tier then draft other positions until my top 40 starters are getting close to being drafted. It’s not like I can draft twenty top 20 SPs on the same team. After I get, say, Kershaw I’m not drafting anyone else until the top 40 anyway.

    @Mr2Bits: Cause Feliz is a reliever. You can replace him easier.

    @Dingo: Is a WordPress issue. Other plugin got discontinued and this was its replacement. I’m not thrilled with this one either and open to suggestions.

  79. Dingo says:
    (link)

    @bill: I think part of the confusion is that Grey is estimating several things with each one of these posts. He’s estimating player projections, which already encompasses performance, injury risk, playing time, etc. And he’s also estimating likely draft position. If his guess about popular valuation of players doesn’t match what’s likely to happen in your league, then his tiers won’t necessarily match up. Right now, for example, Wainwright has an ADP of 38.07 at Mockdraftcentral, while Lester has an ADP of 40.07. Of course, those numbers are likely to change, but if they hold up, then Lester probably wouldn’t be in the tier where Grey currently has him.

  80. Grey

    Grey says:
    (link)

    @Dingo: But you can get someone from that tier.

  81. Dingo says:
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    @Grey: Right. I was just saying that the tiers themselves are dependent on both projections and perceptions of value. If people think that drafters in their leagues value things differently than your tiers imply, then they can adjust their draft strategies accordingly.

  82. bill says:
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    @Grey: I get what you’re saying, but at some point, the players in your do not draft tiers become draftable. It’s hard to tell where that is. If Latos is somehow available 4 rounds after his ADP, maybe around your 28th guy, who are you taking?

  83. Eddy says:
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    Hey guys, I won’t be taking part in the draft, but instead my friend (and co-manager of the RCL) will take my place.

    So all of you who like Jhoulys Chacin, congratulations, you have a chance to nab him.

  84. mikey boy324 says:
    (link)

    grey im in a keeper league where u can only keep 1 player on offense and 1 pitcher my pitching keeper is liriano does the same rules apply or should i still draft another pitcher in that tier?

  85. John says:
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    @Grey @Bill: We get it, you don’t want to own someone like Mat Latos. I don’t want to own Roy Oswalt. So if I don’t want to own Oswalt but I do want to own Gallardo then I would then rank Gallardo higher than Oswalt. After all my rankings are MY rankings. You aren’t selling Latos as the 19th best SP in fantasy but you are ranking him as such. Where we get confused is that you are saying Latos is the 19th best fantasy SP for 2011 but follow it up with “well he sucks.” How can a guy who is a top 20 SP suck? You are mixing ADR with rankings which doesn’t always make sense. I get it, Latos will be drafted high and you don’t want to pay this price but where I get confused is if you think Latos will perform as a #19 pitcher? Because your ranking says “Yes” but your write up says “No.” See the confusion? Please help.

  86. Eddy says:
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    @John:

    I don’t know if you saw my comment (#58) where I responded to you right before Grey did. That’s how I look at Grey’s rankings.

  87. Grey

    Grey says:
    (link)

    @Dingo: Yeah…

    @bill: Here’s how I see drafts going down… A few hitters, then Kershaw then a few hitters while Latos and other guys I wouldn’t take are drafted then I take a top 40 guy. Latos is draftable if he’s still around when top 40 SPs start going. It just seems implausible with their ADPs. Liriano, Gallardo and others are after Latos. So it’s more likely I’ll end up with two SPs from above him then end up with him.

    @mikey boy324: Same rules unless a pitcher falls where it’s worthwhile.

    @John: I don’t say he sucks. His projections don’t say he sucks. I just don’t see drafting him b/c of his IP. Look at the ESPN mock, for instance. Weaver, Gallardo, Liriano, Oswalt, Josh Johnson and Weaver are all taken after Latos. How would I draft Latos there? He’s below pitchers I would draft. You’re arguing over a situation that is not plausible unless we’re in a 20 team league and 19 SPs are taken between my turns. In any league, I’ll see the first six pitchers on my list drafted and at that point I’ll decide on Kershaw, Lester, Liriano etc. After I draft one of them, I have no use for Latos, who will get drafted. If he’s not drafted, I’ll draft him three or four rounds after where he’s usually taken. But if he’s still there three or four rounds after and someone like Liriano is still on the board, Liriano will be my second pitcher because he’s above Latos on my list. Then three or four rounds later when I’m ready to take a third pitcher and now we’re in like the 150s overall if I see Latos, then I take him. Just don’t see how this is a plausible scenario.

  88. John says:
    (link)

    @Eddy Thank you! You explained it much better than Grey has but still confused. If you think Latos is the 19th best SP why wouldnt you draft him? It’s obvious he feels Latos wont perform up to his ranking which really sort of translates to he isn’t ranked 19th in Grey’s eyes

  89. GopherDay says:
    (link)

    @John: Look, Latos will be drafted BEFORE some of the guys above him. Grey doesn’t want to draft him that high because he is concerned about his IP last year.

    He is saying he won’t draft Latos because he’ll grab one of the guys he has ranked ahead of him, then wait for one of the guys he has ranked later on. It isn’t that he “sucks” it’s just that he is wary of him because of his IP last season.

  90. LMack says:
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    I could see YoGa or Liriano anchoring many-a-staff for me this year. Like Goldie Locks said, their value is “juuustttttt right.”

    Oh, &
    Being the neighborly guy that I am, I was helping some older empty nesters shovel out their drive way. Their Jack Russel Terrier was barking (yipping) at me the entire time and I couldn’t help but think of Dustin Pedroia.

  91. bob says:
    (link)

    Great stuff, as usual. My personal rankings has Tommie Hanson in the top 10 though. I think he’s going to have a sub-3.00 ERA and WHIP around 1.05-1.10 with 200+ Ks. I’m keeping him in a keeper league over Hamels.

    Question: I am keeping Braun and Hanson. I can keep 3 of the following in a 12 team league… Andrus, Jeter, Stanton, Hamels, Feliz, Prado, Billy Butler, Jimmy Rollins. Which 3 would you keep?

  92. Cole says:
    (link)

    Something to look at–
    Fukudome is just foolish in April
    2010: 5 HR, .344 ave.
    2009: 4 HR, .338 ave.
    2008: 1 HR, .305 ave. (but 10 other extra-base hits)

    According to the depth chart on ESPN, he still is starting in right. Drop him May 1st of coarse, he falls apart.

  93. GopherDay says:
    (link)

    @bob: From that group I’d keep Andrus, Stanton, and Hamels. No sense in having more than 1 SS unless there is a MI position, but even then Jeter and Rollins are on the downturn of their careers.

  94. Eddy says:
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    @Cole:

    Nice find, I had no clue.

  95. Grey

    Grey says:
    (link)

    @LMack: Ha!

    @bob: What Gopher said.

    @Cole: Thanks for the heads up!

  96. Mike from Jersey says:
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    I own Gallardo and has seen all the numbers you have seen, and a break thru season looms large. 2 intersting things to note: he got lit up his last start of the season, and without that his era was 3.57
    Also, his era over the past 3 years (alltho in 2008 he was injured) his first half era is 2.81, second half is 5.10. Fwiw minus that season ending start, his September era last year was 2.02. I’ve heard that around 500 innings a pitcher really has his stamina and is ready for his big breakout. Yovani is at 505 innings, and will be in his third full year as a starter. Is he becoming Dan Haren (one half pitcher) with a worse whip, or do you believe his break out is this season, and he puts together a full year? Obviously ranking him 10th you believe in the break out, but I’m wondering what you think now that i’ve put out all these facts for you (that you probably already knew lol)

  97. GopherDay says:
    (link)

    My apologies to everyone at the mock draft…My computers wouldn’t let me join the draft at all. MDC has been really glitchy for me, so I don’t know if it’s on my end or theirs. Hope y’all had a nice mock.

  98. VinWins

    VinWins says:
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    @GopherDay: It was a glitchy draft too with several freezes

  99. VinWins

    VinWins says:
    (link)

    @GopherDay: Here is a link to the draft so you can see if your team turned out better than usual. I might have been better off auto selecting.

  100. Grey

    Grey says:
    (link)

    @Mike from Jersey: Had noticed that about his last start and knew the rest. I think this is the breakout season coming. Worst case scenario, we get a junky WHIP with a solid ERA and great Ks.

  101. Steve says:
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    @Mike from Jersey: @Grey: That’s the equivalent of Ted Kennedy endorsing the Democratic candidate. Or smoke coming from the Vatican. Or…

  102. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:
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    @Grey: From tonight’s mock:

    C Posada 15.2
    1B A. Gonzalez 1.12
    2B Hill 7.2
    3B Arod 2.1
    SS Asdrubal 18.1
    MI Kendrick 14.1
    CI Reynolds 9.12
    OF McCutchen 3.12
    OF Heyward 4.1
    OF Victorino 8.1
    OF T. Snider 13.12
    OF Morrison 17.12
    UT B. Allen 20.1
    SP C. Lee 5.12 (sniped, panic picked two #1s)
    SP Ubaldo 6.1 (should have taken Liriano)
    SP Morrow 10.1
    SP I. Kennedy 19.12
    SP Norris 21.12
    SP C. Richard 22.1
    RP Feliz 11.12
    RP Bailiey 12.1
    RP Franklin 16.1
    BN Hanrahan 23.12
    BN Uehara 24.1
    BN Garrett Jones (insurance if B. Allen doesn’t start)

    (one of mdc’s raters placed it 4th)

  103. Grey

    Grey says:
    (link)

    @Steve: Not sure I follow…

    @simply fred: Looks real solid, considering you doubled up on SPs. You might’ve went a little upside crazy with the backside of your staff, but after taking two top ones I can understand it. Hitting looks real solid.

  104. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Your endorsement of Gallardo.

    Only a hehe at best.

  105. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:
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    @Grey: Thank you. Will sleep well tonight.

  106. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Mustache twitching at all for Derek Holland?

  107. Howie says:
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    4×4 Roto keeper question…Gallardo ($3) or Chapman ($2)?…can keep a second year for double those prices if desired prior to next season. Given Gallardo’s ranking in your Top 20 seems to be a no-brainer, but what is Chapman’s comparative upside this year and next?

    Speaking of Roto leagues…actually speaking of auctions…any chance of getting your baseline player auction value (4×4) for all your rankings?

    Thanks,

    Howie

  108. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Howie: Gallardo… Auction values come with Point Shares in the next few weeks.

  109. Steve says:
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    @Howie: Point Shares are brilliant. Great for snake drafts and as good, if not better, for auctions IMHO.

  110. papasmurf says:
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    I am surprised you have Oswalt so high up.

    Last year, I liked him and drafted him when he fell in the draft, but after his good year last year, I think he might be overvalued.

    His K rate last year was the best in his career I think… excluding his debut season. Hit rate was also abnormally good for him.

  111. cubfever7 says:
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    @Grey–i don’t think anyone else asked this–you seem way more concerned about Latos’s IP than Kershaw’s. In ’09 when you combine all minor and MLB IP for Latos you get about 122 IP and then about 184 in ’10. The progression seems to almost mirror Kershaw who had about 107 IP in ’08–171 in ’09 and then 204 in ’10.

    I admit–Latos was dead arm dick (no relation to Gosh Johnson) last September–and Kershaw is bulkier–but why the differences in rating them?

  112. cubfever7 says:
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    @Remdog–lots of upside hope at 2B and 3B but it almost seems like you need one more bat and one less arm? Don’t know your format.
    If you’re going to spell his name with a “d” you should try Bumguarder then he can star in some prison flicks. ;c-)

  113. cubfever7 says:
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    @simplyred–pretty darn nice squad..may hurt a little for BA? But maybe not–that’s a nit

  114. Lackawanna Larry says:
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    Some of you guys who learned “regression to the mean” should also learn that it usually applies to veterans reaching the end of their prime. When you start seeing “regression” in Mat Latos, who is 23 years old, you need to find another buzzword. Also, the Verducci Effect is a contention, not a fact. Just google “verducci effect debunked” for details.

  115. High Upside says:
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    Why do you consider 180 or so innings pitched by Latos far to many? He fatigued down the stretch, yes, but last year was his first full season! The kid is young (23) and strikes out over a batter an inning in Petco Park…

    If they had him out there for 220 innings I would agree with you, but 180 doesnt seem out-rageous.

  116. Jonathan O says:
    (link)

    In a 10 team(6×6 Roto) keeper league, what do you think about taking Kershaw as one of my keepers, costing me my 4th round pick?

    I can keep up to 3, and the pickings are slim. Here are some other options:

    Nelson Cruz @ 10th round
    Pablo (12th)
    Aroldis Chapman (16th)
    CJ Wilson (16th)

    see, I told you it was slim.

    Any help would be appreciated.

  117. BKK says:
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    Grey, Do you have a projection for Capuano this year? I see you bought him for $4 in the LABR draft. I know you have said in the past that you are not a fan of his.

  118. Ike says:
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    @Mike from Jersey: This comment is hilarious now. Not that it was stupid at the time.

  119. Ike says:
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    I misread #2. Ignore or delete prior post.

Comments are closed.